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Christ And His Mission [17/21]
The Evolution Of Religion
In the foregoing part of this work we have become familiar with the way in which our present outside world came into existence, and how man evolved the complicated organism with which he is related to outer conditions. We have also, in a measure, studied the Jewish religion. We will next consider the last and greatest of the divine measures put forth for the uplifting of humanity, i.e., Christianity, which will be the Universal Religion of the future.
It is a notable fact that man and his religions have evolved side by side and in an equal degree. The earliest religion of any Race is found to be as primitive as the people governed by it and as they become more civilized, their religions become more and more humane and in harmony with higher ideals.
From this fact materialists have drawn the inference that no religion has a higher origin than man itself. Their investigations into early history have resulted in a conviction that, as man progressed, he civilized his God and fashioned Him after his own pattern.
This reasoning is defective, because it fails to take into account that man is not the body, but an indwelling spirit, an Ego who uses the body with ever-increasing facility as evolution progresses.
There is no doubt that the law for the body is "The Survival of the Fittest." The law for the evolution of the spirit demands "Sacrifice." As long as man believes that "Might is Right," the Form prospers and waxes strong, because all obstacles are swept out of the way regardless of others. If the body were all, that manner of life would be the only one possible for man. He would be altogether incapable of any regard for others and would forcibly resist any attempt to encroach upon what he considered his rights—the right of the stronger, which is the sole standard of justice under the law of the Survival of the Fittest. He would be quite regardless of his fellow beings; absolutely insensible to any force from without that tended to make him act in any manner not conducive to his own momentary pleasure.
It is manifest, then, that whatever urges man toward a higher standard of conduct in his dealing with others must come from within, and from a source which is not identical with the body, otherwise it would not strive with the body and often prevail against its most obvious interests. Moreover, it must be a stronger force than that of the body, or it could not succeed in overcoming its desires and compelling it to make sacrifices for those who are physically weaker.
That such a force exists, surely no one will deny. We have come to that stage in our advancement where, instead of seeing in physical weakness an opportunity for easy prey, we recognize in the very frailty of another a valid claim upon our protection. Selfishness is being slowly but surely routed by Altruism.
Nature is sure to accomplish her purposes. Though slow, her progress is orderly and certain. In the breast of every man this force of Altruism works as a leaven. It is transforming the savage into the civilized man, and will in time transform the latter into a God.
Though nothing that is truly spiritual can be thoroughly comprehended, yet it may at least be apprehended by means of an illustration.
If one of two tuning-forks of exactly the same pitch is struck, the sound will induce the same vibration in the other, weak to begin with, but if the strokes are continued, the second fork will give out a louder and louder tone until it will emit a volume of sound equal to that of the first. This will happen though the forks are several feet apart, and even if one of them is encased in glass. The sound from the smitten one will penetrate the glass and the answering note be emitted by the enclosed instrument.
These invisible sound-vibrations have great power over concrete matter. They can both build and destroy. If a small quantity of very fine powder is placed upon a brass or glass plate, and a violin bow drawn across the edge, the vibrations will cause the powder to assume beautiful geometrical figures. The human voice is also capable of producing these figures; always the same figure for the same tone.
If one note or chord after another be sounded upon a musical instrument—a piano, or preferably a violin, for from it more gradations of tone can be obtained—a tone will finally be reached which will causes the hearer to feel a distinct vibration in the back of the lower part of the head. Each time that note is struck, the vibration will be felt. That note is the "key-note" of the person whom it so affects. If it is struck slowly and soothingly it will build and rest the body, tone the nerves and restore health. If, on the other hand, it be sounded in a dominant way, loud and long enough, it will kill as surely as a bullet from a pistol.
If we now apply what has been said about music or sound to the problem of how this inner force is awakened and strengthened, we may perhaps understand the matter better.
In the first place, let us particularly note the fact that the two tuning-forks were of the same pitch. Had this not been the case, we might have sounded and sounded one of them until the crack of doom, but the other one would have remained mute. Let us understand this thoroughly: Vibration can be induced in one tuning-fork by one of like tone only. Any thing, or any being, can be affected as above stated by no sound except its own key-note.
We know that this force of Altruism exists. We also know that it is less pronounced among uncivilized people than among people of higher social attainment, and among the very lowest races it is almost entirely lacking. The logical conclusion is that there was a time when it was altogether absent. Consequent upon this conclusion follows the natural question: What induced it?
The material personality surely had nothing to do with it; in fact, that part of man's nature was much more comfortable without it than it has been at any time since. Man must have had the force of Altruism latent within, otherwise it could not have been awakened. Still further, it must have been awakened by a force of the same kind—a similar force that was already active—as the second tuning-fork was started into vibration by the first after it was struck.
We also saw that the vibrations in the second fork become stronger and stronger under the continued impacts of sound from the first, and that a glass case was no hindrance to the induction of the sound. Under the continued impacts of a force similar to that within him, the Love of God to man has awakened this force of Altruism and is constantly increasing its potency.
It is therefore reasonable and logical to conclude that, at first, it was necessary to give man a religion commensurate with his ignorance. It would have been useless to talk to him, at that stage, of a God Who was all tenderness and love. From his viewpoint, those attributes were weaknesses and he could not have been expected to reverence a God Who possessed what were to him despicable qualities. The God to Whom he rendered obedience must be a strong God, a God to be feared, a God Who could hurl the thunderbolt and wield the flail of lightning.
Thus, man was impelled first to fear God and was given religions of a nature to further his spiritual well-being under the lash of fear.
The next step was to induce him a certain kind of unselfishness, by causing him to give up part of his worldly goods—to sacrifice. This was achieved by giving him the Tribal or Race-God, Who is a jealous God, requiring of him the strictest allegiance and the sacrifice of wealth, which the growing man greatly prizes. But in return, this Race-God is a friend and mighty ally, fighting man's battles and giving him back many fold the sheep, bullocks and grain which he sacrificed. He had not yet arrived at the stage where it was possible for him to understand that all creatures are akin, but the Tribal God taught him that he must deal mercifully with his brother tribesman and gave laws which made for equity and fair dealing between men of the same Race.
It must not be thought that these successive steps were taken easily, nor without rebellion and lapses upon the part of primitive man. Selfishness is ingrained in the lower nature even unto this day, and there must have been many lapses and much backsliding. We have in the Jewish Bible good examples of how man forgot, and had to be patiently and persistently "prodded" again and again by the Tribal God. Only the visitations of a long-suffering Race-spirit were potent, at times, in bringing him back to the law—that law very few people have even yet learned to obey.
There are always pioneers, however, who require something higher. When they become sufficiently numerous, a new step in evolution is taken, so that several gradations always exist. There came a time, nearly two thousand years ago, when the most advanced of humanity were ready to take another step forward, and learn the religion of living a good life for the sake of future reward in a state if existence in which they must have faith.
That was a long, hard step to take. It was comparatively easy to take a sheep or a bullock to the temple and offer it as a sacrifice. If a man brought the first fruits of his granary, his vineyards, or his flocks and herds, he still had more, and he knew that the Tribal God would refill his stores and give abundantly in return. But in this new departure, it was not a question of sacrificing his goods. It was demanded that he sacrifice himself. It was not even a sacrifice to be made by one supreme effort of martyrdom; that also would have been comparatively easy. Instead, it was demanded that day by day, from morning until night, he must act mercifully toward all. He must forego selfishness, and love his neighbor, as he had been used to loving himself. Moreover, he was not promised any immediate and visible reward, but must have faith in a future happiness.
Is it strange that people find it difficult to realize this high ideal of continued well-doing, made doubly hard by the fact that self-interest is entirely ignored? Sacrifice is demanded with no positive assurance of any reward. Surely it is much to the credit of humanity that so much altruism is practiced and that it is constantly increasing. The wise Leaders, knowing the frailness of the spirit to cope with the selfish instincts of the body, and the dangers of despondency in the face of such standards of conduct, gave another uplifting impulse when they incorporated in the new religion the doctrine of "vicarious Atonement."
This idea is scouted by some very advanced philosophers, and the Law of "Consequence" made paramount. If it so happens that the reader agrees with these philosophers, we request that he await the explanation herein set forth, showing how both are part of the scheme of upliftment. Suffice it to say, for the present, that this doctrine of atonement gives many an earnest soul the strength to strive and, in spite or repeated failures, to bring the lower nature under subjection. Let it be remembered that, for reasons given when the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence were discussed, western humanity knew practically nothing of these laws. With such a great ideal before them as the Christ, and believing they had but a few short years in which to attain to such a high degree of development as this, would it not have been the greatest imaginable cruelty to leave them without help? Therefore, the Great Sacrifice on Calvary—while it also served other purposes, as will be shown—become rightfully the Beacon of Hope for every earnest soul who is striving to achieve the impossible; to attain, in one short life, to the perfection demanded by the Christian religion.
Jesus And Christ-Jesus
To gain some slight insight into the Great Mystery of Golgotha, and to understand the Mission of Christ as the Founder of the Universal Religion of the future, it is necessary that we first become familiar with His exact nature and incidentally, with that of Jehovah, Who is the head of such religions as Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.; also with the identity of "The Father," to Whom Christ is to give up the Kingdom, in due time.
In the Christian creed occurs this sentence: "Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God." This is generally understood to mean that a certain person Who appeared in Palestine about 2,000 years ago, Who is spoken of as Jesus Christ—one separate individual—was the only begotten Son of God.
This is a great mistake. There are three distinct and widely different Beings characterized in this sentence. It is of the greatest importance that the student should clearly understand the exact nature of these Three Great and Exalted Beings—differing vastly in glory, yet each entitled to our deepest and most devout adoration.
The student is requested to turn to Diagram 6 and note that "The only begotten" ("The Word," of Who John speaks) is the second aspect of the Supreme Being.
This "Word" and It alone, is "begotten of His Father (the first aspect) before all Worlds." "Without Him was not anything made that was made," not even the third aspect of the Supreme Being, which proceeds from the two previous aspects. Therefore the "only begotten" is the exalted Being which ranks above all else in the Universe, save only the Power-aspect which created It.
The first aspect of the Supreme Being "thinks out," or imagines, the Universe before the beginning of active manifestation, everything, including the millions of Solar Systems and the great creative Hierarchies which inhabit the Cosmic Planes of existence above the seventh, which is the field of our evolution (See Diagram 6). This is also the Force which dissolves everything that has crystallized beyond the possibility of further growth and at last, when the end of active manifestation has come, reabsorbs within Itself all that is, until the dawn of another Period of Manifestation.
The second aspect of the Supreme Being is that which manifests in matter as the forces of attraction and cohesion, thus giving it the capability of combining into Forms of various kinds. This is "The Word," the "creative Fiat," which molds the primordial Cosmic Root-substance in a manner similar to the formation of figures by musical vibrations, as previously mentioned, the same tone always producing the same figure. So this great primordial "Word" brought, or "spoke" into being, in finest matter, all the different Worlds, with all their myriads of Forms, which have since been copied and worked out in detail by the innumerable creative Hierarchies.
"The Word" could not have done this, however, until the third aspect of the Supreme Being had first prepared the Cosmic Root-substance; had awakened it from its normal state of inertia and set the countless inseparate atoms spinning upon their axes, placing those axes at various angles with respect to each other, giving to each kind a certain "measure of vibration."
These varying angles of inclination of the axes and the measures of vibration made the Cosmic Root-substance capable of forming different combinations, which are the basis of the seven great Cosmic Planes. There is, in each of these Planes, a different inclination of the axes, and also a different measure of vibration, consequently the conditions and combinations in each one are different from those in any of the others, due to the activity of "The Only Begotten."
Diagram 14 shows us that:
"The Father" is the highest Initiate among the humanity of the Saturn Period. The ordinary humanity of that Period are now the Lords of Mind.
"The Son" (Christ) is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period. The ordinary humanity of that Period are now the Archangels.
"The Holy Spirit" (Jehovah) is the highest Initiate of the Moon Period. The ordinary humanity of that Period are now the Angels.
This diagram also shows what are the vehicles of these different orders of Beings, and upon comparison with Diagram 8, it will be seen that their bodies or vehicles (indicated by squares on Diagram 14) correspond to the Globes of the Period in which they were human. This is always the case so far as the ordinary humanities are concerned, for at the end of the Period during which any live wave becomes individualized as human beings, those beings retain bodies corresponding to the Globes on which they have functioned.
On the other hand, the Initiates have progressed and evolved for themselves higher vehicles, discontinuing the ordinary use of the lowest vehicle when the ability to use a new and higher one has been attained. Ordinarily, the lowest vehicle of an Archangel is the desire body, but Christ, Who is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, ordinarily uses the Life Spirit as His lowest vehicle, functioning as consciously in the World of Life Spirit as we do in the Physical World. The student is requested to note this point particularly, as the World of Life Spirit is the first universal World, as explained in the section on Worlds. It is the World in which differentiation ceases and unity begins to be realized, so far as our solar system is concerned.
Christ has power to build and function in a vehicle as low as the desire body, such as is used by the Archangels but He can descend no further. The significance of this will be seen presently.
Jesus belongs to our humanity. When the man, Jesus, is studied through the Memory of Nature, he can be traced back life by life, where he lived in different circumstances, under various names, in different embodiments, the same in that respect, as any other human being. This cannot be done with the Being, Christ. In His case can be found but one embodiment.
It must not be supposed, however, that Jesus was an ordinary individual. He was of a singularly pure type of mind, vastly superior to the great majority of our present humanity. Through many lives had he trod the Path of Holiness and thus fitted himself for the greatest honor ever bestowed upon a human being.
His mother, Virgin Mary, was also a type of the highest human purity and because of that was selected to become the mother of Jesus. His father was a high Initiate, virgin and capable of performing the act of fecundation as a sacrament, without personal desire or passion.
Thus the beautiful, pure and lovely spirit whom we know as Jesus of Nazareth was born into a pure and passionless body. This body was the best that could be produced on Earth and the task of Jesus, in that embodiment, was to care for it and evolve it to the highest possible degree of efficiency, in preparation for the great purpose it was to serve.
Jesus of Nazareth was born at about the time stated in the historic records, and not 105 B.C., as stated in some esoteric works. The name Jesus is common in the East, and an Initiate named Jesus did live 105 B.C., but he took the Egyptian Initiation and was not Jesus of Nazareth, with whom we are concerned.
The Individual who was later born under the name of Christian Rosenkreuz, who is in the body today, was a highly evolved being when Jesus of Nazareth was born. His testimony, as well as the results of firsthand investigation by later Rosicrucians, all agree in placing the birth of Jesus of Nazareth at the beginning of the Christian Era, on about the date usually ascribed to that event.
Jesus was educated by the Essenes and reached a very high state of spiritual development during the thirty years in which he used his body.
It may be here said, parenthetically, that the Essenes were a third sect which existed in Palestine, besides the two mentioned in the New Testament—the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Essenes were an exceedingly devout order, widely different from the materialistic Sadducees and entirely opposite to the hypocritical, publicity seeking Pharisees. They shunned all mention of themselves and their methods of study and worship. To the latter peculiarity is due the fact that almost nothing is known of them, and that they are not mentioned in the New Testament.
It is a law of the Cosmos that no Being, however high, can function in any world without a vehicle built of the material of that world (See Diagram 8 and Diagram 14). Therefore the desire body was the lowest vehicle of the group of spirits who had reached the human stage in the Sun Period.
Christ was one of those spirits and was consequently unable to build for Himself a vital body and a dense physical vehicle. He could have worked upon humanity in a desire body, as did His younger brothers, the Archangels, as Race-spirits. Jehovah had opened an avenue for them to enter the dense body of man by means of the air he inhaled. All religions were religions of law, and creators of sin through disobedience of that law. They were under the direction of Jehovah, Whose lowest vehicle is the Human Spirit, correlating Him to the World of Abstract Thought, where everything is separative and therefore leads to self-seeking.
That is precisely the reason why the intervention of Christ became necessary. Under the regime of Jehovah unity is impossible. Therefore the Christ, Who possess as a lowest vehicle the unifying Life Spirit, must enter into the dense human body. He must appear as a man among men and dwell in this body, because only from within is it possible to conquer the Race-religion, which influences man from without.
Christ could not be born in a dense body, because He had never passed through an evolution such as the Earth Period, therefore He would first have had to acquire the ability to build a dense body such as ours. But even had He possessed that ability, it would have been inexpedient for such an exalted Being to expend for that purpose the energy necessary for body-building through antenatal life, childhood and youth, to bring it to sufficient maturity for use. He had ceased to use, ordinarily, vehicles such as would correspond to our Human Spirit, mind and desire body, although He had learned to build them in the Sun Period, and retained the ability to build and function in them whenever desired or required. He used all his own vehicles, taking only the vital and dense bodies from Jesus. When the latter was 30 years of age Christ entered these bodies and used them until the climax of His Mission on Golgotha. After the destruction of the dense body, Christ appeared among His disciples in the vital body, in which He functioned for some time. The vital body is the vehicle which He will use when He appears again, for He will never take another dense body.
It is encroaching upon a subject to be dealt with later to remark that the object of all esoteric training is to so work on the vital body that the Life Spirit is built up and quickened. When we come to deal with Initiation it may be possible to give more detailed explanations, but no more can be said on the subject just now. In chronicling the events incident to postmortem existence, this subject has been partially dealt with and the student is here asked to note that a man is supposed to have conquered his desire body to a considerable extent before attempting esotericism. His esoteric training and the earlier Initiations are devoted to work on the vital body and result in the building of the Life Spirit. At the time Christ entered the body of Jesus, the latter was a disciple of high degree, consequently his Life Spirit was well organized. Therefore, the lowest vehicle in which Christ functioned, and the best organized of the higher vehicles of Jesus, were identical; and Christ, when He took the vital body and the dense body of Jesus, was thus furnished with a complete chain of vehicles bridging the gap between the World of Life Spirit and the dense Physical World.
The significance of the fact that Jesus had passed several initiations lies in the effect that has on the vital body. Jesus' vital body was already attuned to the high vibrations of the Life Spirit. An ordinary man's vital body would have instantly collapsed under the terrific vibrations of the Great Spirit who entered Jesus' body. Even that body, pure and high-strung as it was, could not withstand those tremendous impacts for many years, and when we read of certain times when Christ withdrew temporarily from his disciples, as when he later walked on the sea to meet them, the esotericist knows that he drew out of Jesus' vehicles to give them a rest under the care of the Essene Brothers, who knew more of how to treat such vehicles than Christ did.
This change was consummated with the full and free consent of Jesus, who knew during this entire life that he was preparing a vehicle for Christ. He submitted gladly, that his brother humanity might receive the gigantic impetus which was given to its development by the mysterious sacrifice on Golgotha.
Thus (as shown in Diagram 14) Christ Jesus possessed the twelve vehicles, which formed an unbroken chain from the Physical World to the very Throne of God. Therefore He is the only Being in the Universe in touch with both God and man and capable of mediating between them, because He has, personally and individually experience all conditions and knows every limitation incidental to physical existence.
Christ is unique among all Beings in all the seven Worlds. He alone possess the twelve vehicles. None save He is able to feel such compassion, nor so fully understand the position and needs of humanity; none save He is qualified to bring the relief that shall fully meet our needs.
Thus do we know the nature of Christ. He is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period and He took the dense and vital bodies of Jesus that He might function directly in the Physical World and appear as a man among men. Had He appeared in a manifestly miraculous manner, it would have been contrary to the scheme of evolution, because at the end of the Atlantean Epoch humanity had been given freedom to do right or wrong. That they might learn to become self-governing, no coercion whatever could be used. They must know good and evil through experience. Before that time they had been led willy-nilly, but at that time they were given freedom under the different Race-religions, each religion adapted to the needs of its particular Tribe or Nation.
Not Peace But A Sword
All Race-religions are of the Holy Spirit. They are insufficient, because they are based on law, which makes for sin and brings death, pain and sorrow.
All Race-spirits know this, and realize that their religions are merely steps to something better. This is shown by the fact that all Race-religions, without exception, point to One Who is to come. The religion of the Persians pointed to Mithras; of the Chaldeans to Tammuz. The old Norse Gods foresaw the approach of "The Twilight of the Gods," when Sutr, the bright Sun-spirit, shall supersede them and a new and fairer order be established on "Gimle," the regenerated earth. The Egyptians waited for Horus, the newborn Sun. Mithras and Tammuz are also symbolized as Solar orbs and all the principal Temples were built facing the East, that the rays of the rising Sun might shine directly through the open doors; even Saint Peter's at Rome is so placed. All these facts show that it was generally known that the One Who was to come was a Sun-spirit and was to save humanity from the separative influences necessarily contained in all Race-religions.
These religions were steps which it was necessary for mankind to take to prepare for the advent of Christ. Man must first cultivate a "self" before he can become really unselfish and understand the higher phase of Universal Brotherhood—unity of purpose and interest—for which Christ laid the foundation at His first coming, and which He will make living realities when He returns.
As the fundamental principle of a Race-religion is separation, inculcating self-seeking at the expense of other men and nations, it is evident that if the principle is carried to its ultimate conclusion it must necessarily have an increasingly destructive tendency and finally frustrate evolution, unless succeeded by a more constructive religion.
Therefore the separative religions of the Holy Spirit must give place to the unifying religion of the Son, which is the Christian religion.
Law must give place to Love, and the separate Races and Nations be united in one Universal Brotherhood, with Christ as the Eldest Brother.
The Christian religion has not yet had time to accomplish this great object. Man is still in the toils of the dominant Race-spirit and the ideals of Christianity are yet too high for him. The intellect can see some of the beauties, and readily admits that we should love our enemies, but the passions of the desire body are still too strong. The law of the Race-spirit being "An eye for an eye," the Feeling is "I'll get even!" The heart prays for Love; the desire body hopes for Revenge. The intellect sees, in the abstract, the beauty of loving one's enemies but in concrete cases it allies itself with the vengeful feeling of the desire body, pleading, as an excuse for "getting even," that "the social organism must be protected."
It is a matter for congratulation, however, that society feels compelled to apologize for the retaliative methods used. Corrective methods and mercy are becoming more and more prominent in the administration of the laws, as is shown by the favorable reception which has been accorded that very modern institution, the Juvenile Court. Further manifestation of this same tendency may be noted in the increasing frequency with which convicted prisoners are released on probation, under suspended sentence; also in the greater humanity with which prisoners of war are treated of late years. These are the vanguards of the sentiment of Universal Brotherhood, which is slowly but surely makings its influence felt.
Yet, though the world is advancing and though, for instance, it has been comparatively easy for the writer to secure a hearing for his views in the different cities where he has lectured, the daily papers sometimes devoting to his utterances whole pages (and front pages at that) so long as he confined himself to speaking of the higher worlds and the postmortem states, it has been very noticeable that as soon as the theme was Universal Brotherhood his articles have always been consigned to the waste-basket.
The world in general is very unwilling to consider anything that is, as it thinks, "too" unselfish. There must be "something in it." Nothing is regarded as an entirely natural line of conduct if it offers no opportunity for "getting the best of" one's fellowmen. Commercial undertakings are planned and conducted on that principle and, before the minds of those who are enslaved by the desire to accumulate useless wealth, the idea of Universal Brotherhood conjures up frightful visions of the abolition of capitalism and its inevitable concomitant, the exploitation of others, with the wreck of "business interests" implied thereby. The word "enslaved" exactly describes this condition. According to the Bible, man was to have dominion over the world, but in the vast majority of cases the reverse is true—it is the world which has dominion over man. Every man who has property interests will, in his saner moments, admit that they are a never-failing source of worry to him; that he is constantly scheming to hold his possessions, or at least to keep from being deprived of them by "sharp practice," knowing that others are as constantly scheming to accomplish that, to them, desirable end. The man is the slave of what, with unconscious irony, he calls "my possessions", when in reality they possess him. Well did the Sage of Concord say, "Things are in the saddle and ride mankind!"
This state of affairs is the result of religions, with their system of law; therefore do they all look for "One Who is to come." The Christian religion alone is not looking for One Who is to come, but for One Who is to come again. The time of this second coming depends upon when the Church can free itself from the State. The Church, especially in Europe, is bound to the Chariot of State. The ministers are fettered by economic considerations and dare not proclaim the truths that their studies have revealed to them.
A visitor to Copenhagen, Denmark, recently witnessed a church confirmation service. The Church there is under State control and all ministers are appointed by the temporal power. The parishioners have nothing whatever to say in the matter. They may attend church or not, as they please, but they are compelled to pay the taxes which support the institution.
In addition to holding office by the bounty of the State, the pastor of the particular church visited was decorated with several Orders conferred by the king, the glittering badges bearing silent but eloquent testimony as to the extent of his subserviency to the State. During the ceremony, he prayed for the king and the legislators, that they might rule the country wisely. As long as kings and legislators exist, this prayer might be very appropriate, but it was a considerable shock to hear him add: ". . . . and, almighty God, protect and strengthen our army and navy!"
Such a prayer as this shows plainly that the God worshiped is the Tribal or National God—the Race-spirit, for the last act of the gentle Christ Jesus was to stay the sword of the friend who would have protected Him therewith. Although He said He had not come to send peace, but a sword, it was because He foresaw the oceans of blood that would be spilled by the militant "Christian" nations in their mistaken understanding of His teachings and because high ideals cannot be immediately attained by humanity. The wholesale murder of war and like atrocities are harsh, but they are potent illustrations of what Love would abolish.
There is, apparently, a flat contradiction between the words of Christ Jesus, "I came not to send peace, but a sword," and the words of the celestial song which heralded the birth of Jesus, "On earth Peace, Goodwill toward men." This contradictions, however, is apparent only.
There is as great an apparent contradiction between a woman's words and her actions when she says, "I am going to clean house and tidy up," and then proceeds to take up carpets and pile chairs one upon another, producing general confusion in a previously orderly house. One observing only this aspect of the matter, would be justified in saying, "She is making matters worse instead of better," but when the purpose of her work is understood, the expediency of the temporary disorder is realized and in the end her house will be the better for the passing disturbance.
Similarly, we must bear in mind that the time which has elapsed since the coming of Christ Jesus is but little more than a moment in comparison with the duration of even one Day of Manifestation. We must learn, as did Whitman, to "know the amplitude of time," and look beyond the past and present cruelties and jealousies of the warring sects to the shining age of Universal Brotherhood, which will mark the next great step of man's progress on his long and wondrous journey from the clod to the God, from protoplasm to conscious unity with the Father, that
. . . one far-off, divine event
To which the whole creation moves.
It may be added that the above mentioned pastor, during the ceremony of receiving his pupils into the Church taught them that Jesus Christ was a composite individual; that Jesus was mortal, human part, while Christ was the divine, immortal Spirit. Presumably, if the matter had been discussed with him, he would not have supported this statement, nevertheless in making it he stated an esoteric fact.
The Star Of Bethlehem
The unifying influence of the Christ has been symbolized in the beautiful legend of the worship of the three magi, or "wise men of the East," so skillfully woven by General Lew Wallace into his charming story, "Ben Hur."
The three wise men—Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar—are the representatives of the white, yellow and black Races and symbolize the people of Europe, Asia and Africa, who are all led by The Star to the World-Savior, to Whom eventually "every knee shall bow," and Whom "every tongue shall confess"; Who shall unite all the scattered nations under the Banner of Peace and Goodwill; Who shall cause men to "beat their words into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks."
The Star of Bethlehem is said to have appeared at the time of the birth of Jesus, and to have guided the three wise men to the Savior.
Much speculation has been indulged in as to the nature of this Star. Most material scientists have declared it a myth, while others have said if it were anything more than a myth, it might have been a "coincidence"—two dead Suns might have collided and caused a conflagration. Every mystic, however, knows the "Star"—yea, and the "Cross" also—not only as symbols connected with the life of Jesus and Christ Jesus, but in his own personal experience. Paul says: "Until Christ be formed in you"; and the mystic, Angelus Silesius, echoes:
Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born
And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn.
The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain
Unless within thyself it be set up again.
Richard Wagner shows the intuitional knowledge of the artist when, to the question of Parsifal, "Who is The Grail?" Gurnemanz answers:
That tell we not;
But if thou hast by Him been bidden,
From thee the truth will not stay hidden.
. . . The land to Him no path leads through,
And search but severs from Him wider
When He Himself is not the Guider.
Under the "old dispensation" the path to Initiation was not open. It was for only the chosen few. Some might seek the path, but only those who were guided to the Temples by the Hierophants found entrance. Previous to the advent of Christ, there was no such sweeping invitation as "Whosoever will may come."
At the moment the blood flowed on Golgotha, however, "the veil of the Temple was rent" (for reasons presently to be explained), and ever since that time, whosoever will seek admittance will surely find it.
In the Temples of Mystery, the Hierophant taught his pupils that there is in the Sun a spiritual, as well as a physical force. The latter force in the rays of the Sun is the fecundating principle in nature. It causes the growth of the plant world and thereby sustains the animal and human kingdom. It is the upbuilding energy which is the source of all physical force.
This physical, solar energy reaches its highest expression in midsummer, when the days are longest and the nights are shortest, because the rays of the Sun then fall directly on the northern hemisphere. At that time the spiritual forces are the most inactive.
On the other hand, in December, during the long winter nights, the physical force of the solar orb is dormant and the spiritual forces reach their maximum degree of activity.
The night between the 24th and the 25th of December is The Holy Night, par excellence, of the entire year. The Zodiacal sign of the immaculate celestial Virgin stands upon the eastern horizon near midnight, the Sun of the New Year is then born and starts upon his journey from the southernmost point toward the northern hemisphere, to save that part of humanity (physically) from the darkness and famine which would inevitably result if he were to remain permanently south of the equator.
To the people of the northern hemisphere, where all our present day religions originated, the Sun is directly below the Earth; and the spiritual influences are strongest, in the north, at midnight of the 24th of December.
That being the case, it follows as a matter of course that it would then be easiest for those who wished to take a definite step toward Initiation to get in conscious touch with the spiritual Sun especially for the first time.
Therefore the pupils who were ready for Initiation were taken in hand by the Hierophants of the Mysteries, and by means of ceremonies performed in the Temple, were raised to a state of exaltation wherein they transcended physical conditions. To their spiritual vision, the solid Earth became transparent and they saw the Sun at midnight—"The Star!" It was not the physical Sun they saw with spiritual eyes, however, but the Spirit in the Sun—The Christ—their Spiritual Savior, as the physical Sun was their physical Savior.
This is the Star that shone on that Holy Night and that still shines for the mystic in the darkness of night. When the noise and confusion of physical activity are quieted, he enters into his closet and seeks the way to the King of Peace. The Blazing Star is ever there to guide him and his soul hears the prophetic song, "On earth Peace, Goodwill toward men."
Peace and goodwill to all, without exception; no room for one single enemy or outcast! Is it any wonder that it is hard to educate humanity to such a high standard? Is there any better way to show the beauty of, and the necessity for peace, goodwill and love than by contrasting them with the present state of war, selfishness and hate?
The stronger the light, the deeper the shadow it casts. The higher our ideals, the more plainly can we see our shortcomings.
Unfortunately, at the present stage of development, humanity is willing to learn only by the hardest experience. As a Race, it must become absolutely selfish to feel the bitter pangs caused by the selfishness of others, as one must know much sickness to be thoroughly thankful for health.
The religion miscalled Christianity has therefore been the bloodiest religion known. On the battle field and in the Inquisition innumerable and unspeakable atrocities have been committed in the name of the gentle Nazarene. The Sword and the Wine Cup,—the perverted Cross and Communion Chalice—have been the means by which the more powerful of the so-called Christian nations gained supremacy over the heathen peoples, and even over other but weaker nations professing the same faith as their conquerors.
While man was under the full sway of religions each nation was an united whole. Individual interests were willing subordinated to the community interests. All were "under the law." All were members of their respective tribes first, and individuals only secondarily.
At the present time there is a tendency toward the other extreme—to exalt "self" above all else. The result is evident in the economic and industrial problems that are facing every nation and clamoring for solution.
The state of development wherein every man feels himself an absolutely separate unit, an Ego, independently pursuing his own course, is a necessary stage. The national, tribal and family unity must first be broken up before Universal Brotherhood can become a fact. The regime of Paternalism has been largely superseded by the reign of Individualism. We are learning the evils of the latter more and more as our civilization advances. Our unsystematic method of distributing the products of labor, the rapacity of the few and the exploitation of many—these social crimes result in under-consumption, industrial depressions and labor disturbances, destroying internal peace. The industrial war of the present day is vastly more far-reaching and destructive than the military wars of the nations.
The Heart As An Anomaly
No lesson, though its truth may be superficially assented to, is of any real value as an active principle of the life until the heart has learned it in longing and bitterness, and the lesson man must so learn is that what is not beneficial to all can never be truly beneficial to any. For nearly 2,000 years we have lightly assented with our lips that we should govern our lives in accordance with such maxims as "Return good for evil." The Heart urges mercy and love, but the Reason urges belligerent and retaliatory measures, if not as revenge, at least as a means of preventing a repetition of hostilities. It is this divorce of head from heart that hinders the growth of a true feeling of Universal Brotherhood and the adoption of the teachings of Christ—the Lord of Love.
The mind is the focusing point by means of which the Ego becomes aware of the material universe. As an instrument for the acquisition of knowledge in those realms the mind is invaluable, but when it arrogates to itself the role of dictator as to the conduct of man to man, it is as though the lens should say to an astronomer who was in the act of photographing the Sun through a telescope: "You have me improperly focused. You are not looking at the Sun correctly. I do not think it is good to photograph the Sun anyway, and I want you to point me at Jupiter. The rays of the Sun heat me too much and are liable to damage me."
If the astronomer exercises his will and focuses the telescope as he desires, telling it to attend to its business of transmitting the rays that strike it, leaving the results to him, the work will proceed well, but if the lens has the stronger will and the mechanism of the telescope is in league with it, the astronomer will be seriously hampered in having to contend with a refractory instrument, and the result will be blurred pictures, of little or no value.
Thus it is with the Ego. It works with a threefold body, which it controls, or should control through the mind. But, sad to say, this body has a will of its own and is often aided and abetted by the mind, thus frustrating the purposes of the Ego.
This antagonistic "lower will" is an expression of the higher part of the desire body. When the division of the Sun, Moon, and Earth took place, in the early part of the Lemurian Epoch, the more advanced portion of humanity-in-the-making experienced a division of the desire body into a higher and a lower part. The rest of humanity did likewise in the early part of the Atlantean Epoch.
This higher part of the desire body become a sort of animal soul. It built the cerebrospinal nervous systems and the voluntary muscles, by that means controlling the lower part of the threefold body until the link of mind was given. Then the mind "coalesced" with this animal soul and become a co-regent.
The mind is thus bound up in desire; is enmeshed in the selfish lower nature, making it difficult for the spirit to control the body. The focusing mind, which should be the ally of the higher nature, is alienated by and in league with the lower nature—enslaved by desire.
The law of the religions was given to emancipate intellect from desire. The "fear of God" was pitted against "the desires of the flesh." This, however, was not enough to enable one to become master of the body and secure its willing cooperation. It became necessary for the spirit to find in the body another point of vantage, which was not under the sway of the desire nature. All muscles are expressions of the desire body and a straight road to the capital, where the traitorous mind is wedded to desire and reigns supreme.
If the United States were at war with France, it would not land troops in England, hoping in that way to subjugate the French. It would land its soldiers directly in France, and fight there.
Like a wise general, the Ego followed a similar course of action. It did not commence its campaign by getting control of one of the glands, for they are expressions of the vital body; nor was it possible to get control of the voluntary muscles, for they are too well garrisoned by the enemy. That part of the involuntary muscular system which is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system would also be useless for the purpose. It must get into a more direct touch with the cerebro-spinal nervous system. To do this, and secure a base of operations in the enemy's country, it must control a muscle which is involuntary, and yet connected with the voluntary nervous system. Such a muscle is the heart.
We have previously spoken of the two kinds of muscles—voluntary and involuntary. The latter are formed in lengthwise stripes and are connected with functions not under the control of the will, such as digestion, respiration, excretion, etc. The voluntary muscles are those which are controlled by the will through the voluntary nervous system, such as the muscles of the hand and arm. They are striped both lengthwise and crosswise.
The above is true of all muscles in the body except the heart, which is an involuntary muscle. Ordinarily, we cannot control the circulation. Under normal conditions the heart-beat is a fixed quantity, yet to the bewilderment of physiologists, the heart is cross-striped like a voluntary muscle. It is the only organ in the body exhibiting this peculiarity but, sphinx-like, it refuses to give material scientists an answer to the riddle.
The Christian Mystic easily finds the answer in the Memory of Nature. From that record he learns that when the Ego first sought a stronghold in the heart, the latter was striped lengthwise only, the same as any other involuntary muscle; but as the Ego gained more and more control over the heart, the cross-stripes have gradually developed. They are not so numerous nor so well defined as on the muscles under the full control of the desire body, but as the altruistic principles of love and brotherhood increase in strength and gradually overrule the reason, which is based in desire, so will these cross stripes become more numerous and more marked.
As previously stated, the seed-atom of the dense body is located in the heart during life and withdrawn only at death. The active work of the Ego is in the blood. Now, if we except the lungs, the heart is the only organ in the body through which all the blood passes in every cycle.
The blood is the highest expression of the vital body, for it nourishes the entire physical organism. It is also, in a sense, the vehicle of the subconscious memory, and in touch with the Memory of Nature, situated in the highest division of the Etheric Region. The blood carries the pictures of life from ancestors to descendants for generations, where there is a common blood, as produced by inbreeding.
There are in the head three points, each of which is the particular seat of one of the three aspects of the spirit (See Diagram 17), the second and third aspects having, in addition, secondary vantage grounds.
The desire body is the perverted expression of the Ego. It converts the "Selfhood" of the spirit into "selfishness." Selfhood seeks not its own at the expense of others. Selfishness seeks gain regardless of others. The seat of the Human Spirit is primarily in the pineal gland and secondarily in the brain and cerebro-spinal nervous system, which controls the voluntary muscles.
The love and unity in the World of the Life Spirit find their illusory counterpart in the Etheric Region, to which we are correlated by the vital body, which latter promotes sex love and sex union. The Life Spirit has its seat primarily in the pituitary body and secondarily in the heart, which is the gateway of the blood that nourishes the muscles.
The actionless Divine Spirit—The Silent Watcher—finds its material expression in the passive, inert and irresponsive skeleton of the dense body, which is the obedient instrument of other bodies, but has no power to act on its own initiative. The Divine Spirit has its strong hold in the impenetrable point at the root of the nose.
In reality there is but one spirit, the Ego, but looking at it from the Physical World, it is refracted into the three aspects, which work as stated.
As the blood passes through the heart, cycle after cycle, hour after hour all through life, it engraves the pictures it carries upon the seed-atom while they are still fresh, thus making a faithful record of the life which is indelibly impressed on the soul in the postmortem existence. It is always in closest touch with the Life Spirit, the spirit of love and unity, therefore the heart is the home of altruistic love.
As these pictures pass inward to the World of Life Spirit, in which is the true memory of nature, they do not come through the slow physical senses, but directly through the fourth ether contained in the air we breathe. In the World of Life Spirit the Life Spirit sees much more clearly than it can in the denser Worlds. In its high home it is in touch with the Cosmic Wisdom and in any situation it knows at once what to do and flashes the message of guidance and proper action back to the heart, which as instantaneously flashes it on the brain through the medium of the pneumogastric nerve, resulting in "first impressions"—the intuitional impulse, which is always good, because it is drawn directly from the fountain of Cosmic Wisdom and Love.
This is all done so quickly that the heart has control before the slower reason has had time to "take in the situation," as it were. It is the thought that man "thinketh in his heart," and it is true that "so is he." Man is inherently a Virgin Spirit, good, noble and true in every respect. All that is not good is from the lower nature, that illusory reflection of the Ego. The Virgin Spirit is always giving wise counsel. If we could only follow the impulses of the heart—the first thought—Universal Brotherhood would be realized here and now.
But that is just the point where the trouble begins. After the good counsel of the first thought has been given, the mind begins to reason, with the result that, in the great majority of cases, it dominates the heart. The telescope arranges its own focus and points where it lists, despite the astronomer. The mind and the desire body frustrate the designs of the spirit by taking control and, as they lack the spirit's wisdom, both spirit and body suffer.
Physiologists note that certain areas of the brain are devoted to particular thought activities and phrenologists have carried this branch of science still further. Now, it is known that thought breaks down and destroys nerve tissues. This and all other waste of the body is replaced by the blood. When, through the development of the heart into a voluntary muscle, the circulation of the blood finally passes under the absolute control of the unifying Life Spirit—the Spirit of Love—it will then be within the power of that spirit to withhold the blood from those areas of the brain devoted to selfish purposes. As a result, those particular thought centers will gradually atrophy.
On the other hand, it will be possible for the spirit to increase the blood supply when the mental activities are altruistic, and thus build up the areas devoted to altruism, so that, in time, the desire nature will be conquered and the mind emancipated by Love from its bondage to desire. It is only by complete emancipation, through Love, that man can raise above the law and become a law unto himself. Having conquered himself, he will have conquered all the World.
The cross stripes of the heart may be built by certain exercises under Mystic Christian training, but as some of these exercises are dangerous, they should be undertaken only under the direction of a competent teacher. That no reader of this book may be deceived by impostors professing ability and willingness to so train aspirants for a consideration, it is emphatically repeated that no true Christian Mystic ever boasts, advertises his mystic power, sells esoteric information or lessons at so much each or for a course; nor will he consent to a theatrical display. His work is done in the most unobtrusive manner possible and solely for the purpose of legitimately helping others, without thought of self.
As said in the beginning of this section, all persons earnestly desiring the higher knowledge may rest assured that if they will but seek, they will find the way open for them. Christ Himself prepared the way for "whosoever will." He will help and welcome all real seekers who are willing to work for Universal Brotherhood.
The Mystery Of Golgotha
During the last 2,000 years much has been said about "the cleansing blood." The blood of Christ has been extolled from the pulpit as the sovereign remedy for sin; the only means of redemption and salvation.
But if the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence work in such a way that the evolving beings reap as they have sown, and if the evolutionary impulse is constantly bring humanity higher and higher, ultimately to attain perfection—where then is the need for redemption and salvation? Even if the need existed, how can the death of one individual help the rest? Would it not be nobler to suffer the consequences of one's acts than to hide behind another? These are some of the objections to the doctrine of vicarious atonement and redemption by the blood of Christ Jesus. We will try to answer them before showing the logical harmony between the operation of the law of Consequence and the Atonement by Christ.
In the first place, it is absolutely true that the evolutionary impulse does work to achieve ultimate perfection for all; yet there are some who are constantly straggling behind. At the present time, we have just passed the extreme point of materiality. We are treading "the sixteen paths to destruction," and are consequently in graver danger of falling behind than at any other part of the evolutionary journey.
In the abstract, time is nothing. A number may fall behind so far that they must be abandoned, to take up their further evolution in another scheme, where they can continue their journey to perfection. Nevertheless that was not the evolution originally designed for them and it is reasonable to suppose that the exalted Intelligences in charge of our evolution use every means to bring through in safety as many as possible of the entities under their charge.
In ordinary evolution, the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence are perfectly adequate for bringing the major portion of the life wave up to perfection, but they do not suffice in the case of the stragglers, who are lagging behind. During the stage of individualism, which is the climax of the illusion of separateness, all mankind needs extra help, but for the stragglers some additional special aid must be provided.
To give that special aid, to redeem the stragglers, was the mission of Christ. He said that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He opened the way of Initiation for all who are willing to seek it.
Objectors to vicarious atonement urge: That it is cowardly to hide behind another; that each man should be willing to take the consequence of his acts.
Let us consider an analogous case. The waters of the Great Lakes narrow into the Niagara River. For twenty miles this enormous volume of water flows rapidly toward the falls. The river bed is filled with rocks and if a person who goes beyond a certain point does not lose his life in the rapids above the cataract, he will surely do so by the plunge over the brink.
Suppose a man appeared who, in pity for the victims of the current, placed a rope above the cataract, although he knew that the conditions were such that in doing so, he himself could not by any possible chance escape death. Yet gladly and of his own free will, he sacrificed his life and placed the rope, thus modifying former conditions so that any otherwise helpless victims who would grasp the rope would be saved and thenceforward none need be lost.
What would we think of a man who had fallen into the water through his own carelessness, and was struggling madly to reach the shore, if he should say: "What! Save myself and seek to avoid penalty of my carelessness by shielding myself behind the strength of another, who suffered through no fault of his own, and gave up his life that such as I might live? No, never! That would not be "manly." I will take my deserts!" Would we not all agree that the man was a fool?
Not all are in need of salvation. Christ knew that there is a very large class who do not require salvation in this way, but just as surely as there are the ninety-and-nine who are well taken care of by the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence and will reach perfection in that way, so there are the "sinners" who have become "bogged" in matter and cannot escape without a rope. Christ came to save them and to bring peace and good will to all, by raising them to the necessary point of spirituality, causing a change in their desire bodies which will make the influence of the Life Spirit in the heart more potent.
His younger brother Sun spirits, the Archangels, had worked as Race-spirits on the desire bodies of man, but their work had been from without. It was simply a reflected spiritual Sun-force and came through the Moon—as moonlight is reflected sunlight. Christ, the Chief Initiate of the Sun spirits, entered directly into the dense body of the Earth and brought the direct Sun-force, thus enabling Him to influence over desire bodies from within.
Man cannot gaze long upon the Sun without becoming blind because its vibrations are so rapid that they destroy the retina of the eye. But he can look without harmful results upon the Moon, the vibrations from which are much slower; yet they are also sunlight, but the higher vibrations have been taken up by the Moon, which then reflects the residue to us.
So it is with the spiritual impulses which help man to evolve. The reason why the Earth was thrown off from the Sun was because our humanity could not endure the Sun's tremendous physical and spiritual impulses. Even after an enormous distance had been placed between the Earth and Sun, the spiritual impulse would still have been too strong had it not been sent first to the Moon, to be used by Jehovah, the Regent of the Moon, for man's benefit. A number of Archangels (ordinary Sun spirits) were given Jehovah as helpers in reflecting these spiritual impulses from the Sun upon the humanity of the Earth, in the form of Jehovistic religions.
The lowest vehicle of the Archangels is the desire body. Our desire body was added in the Moon Period, at which time Jehovah was the highest Initiate. Therefore Jehovah is able to deal with man's desire body. Jehovah's lowest vehicle is the Human Spirit (see Diagram 14) and its counterpart is the desire body. The Archangels are His helpers because they are able to manage the spiritual Sun forces and the desire body is their lowest vehicle. Thus they are able to work with and prepare humanity for the time when it can receive the spiritual impulses directly from the Solar Orb, without the intervention of the Moon.
Upon Christ, as the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, is laid the task of sending out this impulse. The impulse which Jehovah reflected was sent out by Christ, Who thus prepared both the Earth and humanity for His direct ingress.
The expression, "prepared the Earth," means that all evolution on a planet is accompanied by the evolution of that planet itself. Had some observer gifted with spiritual sight watched the evolution of our Earth from some distant star, he would have noticed a gradual change taking place in the Earth's desire body.
Under the old dispensation the desire bodies of people in general were improved by means of the law. This work is still going on in the majority of people, who are thus preparing themselves for the higher life.
The higher life (Initiation) does not commence, however, until the work on the vital body begins. The means used for bringing that into activity is Love, or rather Altruism. The former word has been so abused that it no longer conveys the meaning here required.
During the old dispensation the path of Initiation was not free and open, except to the chosen few. The Hierophants of the Mysteries collected certain families about the Temples, setting them apart from all the other people. These chosen families were then rigorously guarded as to certain rites and ceremonies. Their marriages and sexual intercourse were regulated by the Hierophants.
The effect of this was to produce a race having the proper degree of laxity between the dense and vital bodies; also to wake the desire body from its state of lethargy during sleep. Thus a special few were made fit for Initiation and were given opportunities that could not be given to all. We see instances of this method among the Jews, where the tribe of Levi were the chosen Templars; also in the caste of the Brahmins, who were the only priestly class among the Hindus.
The Mission of Christ, in addition to saving the lost, was to make Initiation possible to all, therefore Jesus was not a Levite of the class to which priesthood came by inheritance. He came from the common people and though not of the teacher class, His teaching was higher than that of Moses.
Christ Jesus did not deny Moses, the law, nor the prophets. On the contrary, He acknowledged them all and showed the people that they were His witnesses, as they all pointed to One Who was to come. He told the people that those things had served their purpose and that henceforth Love must supersede Law.
Christ Jesus was killed. In connection with this fact, we come to the supreme and fundamental difference between Him and the previous teachers, in whom the Race spirits were born. They all died and must be reborn again and again to help their peoples bear their destiny. The Archangel Michael (the Race-spirit of the Jews) raised up Moses, who was taken up to Mount Nebo to die. He was reborn as Elijah. Elijah returned as John the Baptist; Buddha died and was reborn as Shankaracharya; Shri Krishna says, "Whenever there is decay of Dharma. . .and. . .exaltation of Adharma, then I myself come forth for the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing Dharma. I am born from age to age."
When death came Moses' face shone and Buddha's body become alight. They all reached the stage when the spirit begins to shine from within—but then they died.
Christ Jesus reached that stage on the Mount of Transfiguration. It is of the very highest significance that His real work took place subsequent to that event. He suffered; was killed—and resurrected.
Being killed is a very different thing from dying. The blood that had been the vehicle of the Race-spirit must flow and be cleansed of that contaminating influence. Love of father and mother, exclusive of other fathers and mothers, must go—otherwise Universal Brotherhood and an all-embracing Altruistic Love could never become an actuality.
The Cleansing Blood
When the Savior Christ Jesus was crucified His body was pierced in five places; in the five centers where the currents of the vital body flow; and the pressure of the crown of thorns caused a flow from the sixth also. (This is a hint to those who already know these currents. A full elucidation of this matter cannot be publicly given out at this time.)
When the blood flowed from these centers, the great Sun-spirit Christ was liberated from the physical vehicle of Jesus and found Himself in the earth, with individual vehicles. The already existing planetary vehicles He permeated with His own vehicles and, in the twinkling of an eye, diffused His own desire body over the planet, which has enabled Him thenceforth to work upon the Earth and its humanity from within.
At that moment a tremendous wave of spiritual sunlight flooded the Earth. It rent the veil which the Race-spirit had hung before the Temple to keep out all but the chosen few, and it made the Path of Initiation free thenceforth to whomsoever will. So far as concerned the Spiritual Worlds, this wave transformed the conditions of the Earth like a flash of lightning, but the dense, concrete conditions are, of course, much more slowly affected.
Like all rapid and high vibrations of light, this great wave blinded the people by its dazzling brilliance, therefore it was said that "the Sun was darkened." The very opposite was what actually occurred. The Sun was not darkened, but shone out in glorious splendor. It was the excess of light that blinded the people, and only as the entire Earth absorbed the desire body of the bright Sun-spirit did the vibration return to a more normal rate.
The expression, "the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus," means that as the blood flowed on Calvary, it bore with it the great Sun-spirit Christ, Who by that means secured admission to the Earth itself and since that moment has been its Regent. He diffused His own desire body throughout the planet, thereby cleansing it from all the vile influences which had grown up under the regime of the Race-spirit.
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Under the law all sinned; nay, more—they could not help it. They had not evolved to where they could do right for Love's sake. The desire nature was so strong that it was an impossibility for them to rule it altogether, therefore their debts, engendered under the Law of Consequence, piled up to monstrous proportions. Evolution would have been terribly delayed and many lost to our life wave altogether if some help had not been given.
Therefore did Christ come "to seek and to save that which was lost." He took away the sin of the world by His cleansing blood, which gave Him entrance to the Earth and its humanity. He purified the conditions and we owe it to Him that we are able to gather for our desire bodies purer desire-stuff than formerly, and He continues working to help us, by making our external environment constantly purer.
That this was and is done at the expense of great suffering to Himself, no one can doubt who is able to form the least conception of the limitations endured by that Great Spirit in entering the hampering conditions of physical existence, even in the best and purest vehicle possible; nor is His present limitation as Regent of the Earth must less painful. True, He is also Regent of the Sun, and therefore only partially confined to the Earth, yet the limitations set by the crampingly slow vibrations of our dense planet must be almost unendurable.
Had Christ Jesus simply died, it would have been impossible for Him to have done this work, but the Christians have a risen Savior; One Who is ever present to help those who call upon His Name. Having suffered like unto ourselves in all things and knowing fully our needs, He is lenient toward our mistakes and failures so long as we continue trying to live the good life. We must ever keep before our eyes the fact that the only real failure is ceasing to try.
Upon the death of the dense body of Christ Jesus, the seed atom was returned to the original owner, Jesus of Nazareth, who for some time afterward, while functioning in a vital body which he had gathered temporarily, taught the nucleus of the new faith which Christ had left behind. Jesus of Nazareth has since had the guidance of the esoteric branches which sprang up all over Europe.
In many places the Knights of the Round Table were high Initiates in the Mysteries of the New Dispensation. So were the Knights of The Grail—to whom was finally confided Joseph of Arimathea's Grail Cup, which was used by Christ Jesus at The Last Supper. They were afterward entrusted also with the Lance which pierced His side, and the receptacle which received the blood from the wound.
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The Druids of Ireland and the Trottes of Northern Russia were esoteric schools through which the Master Jesus worked during the so-called "Dark Ages," but, dark though they were, the spiritual impulse spread, and from the standpoint of the Christian Mystic they were "Bright Ages" compared to the growing materialism of the last 300 years, which has increased physical knowledge immensely, but has almost extinguished the Light of the Spirit.
Tales of "The Grail," "Knights of The Round Table," etc., are now scouted as superstitions and all that cannot be materially demonstrated is regarded as unworthy of belief. Glorious as are the discoveries of modern science, they have been bought at the terrible price of crushing the spiritual intuition and, from a spiritual standpoint, no darker day than the present has ever dawned.
The Elder Brothers, Jesus among them, have striven and are striving to counteract this terrible influence, which is like that in the eyes of the snake, causing the bird to fall into its jaws. Every attempt to enlighten people and awaken in them a desire to cultivate the spiritual side of life, is an evidence of the activity of the Elder Brothers.
May their efforts be crowned with success and speed the day when modern science shall be spiritualized and conduct its investigation of matter from the standpoint of spirit, for then, and not until then, will it arrive at a true knowledge of the world.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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